SOAS University of London

Japan & Korea Section, Department of East Asian Languages & Culture

Dr Isolde Standish

BA(Ballarat); BA, PhD(London)
  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Expertise
  • Publications


Isolde Standish: Centre for Film Studies
Centre for Creative Industries, Media and Screen Studies


Japan and Korea Section, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures

Emerita Reader in Film and Media Studies

SOAS Japan Research Centre (JRC)

Academic Staff, Japan Research Centre

Centre of Korean Studies

Academic Staff, Centre of Korean Studies

Dr Isolde Standish
Email address:
SOAS University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Russell Square: College Buildings


As a graduate of (Hollywood and European) Film and Media Studies in 1984, I found myself seeking new directions, both academic and geographical, to launch my post-graduate studies. As chance would have it, I found a teaching post in Japan where I discovered a fascinating and often different way of representing the world through cinema. My curiosity then led me to Korea and, more recently, is taking me into World Cinema.


PhD Students supervised
  • Kerstin Fooken, Camille in Crisis – Adaptation, Stardom and Scandal in La Dame aux Camélias on the Japanese Silent Screen
  • Lois Barnett, An Investigation of Audience Responses To and Motivations for the Use of Western-Inspired Costume in Japanese Cinema (1923-39)
Past PhD students include:
  • Montre Aza Missouri Black Magic Women: Race, Sex and Afro-Religiosity in Narrative Film (Lecturer in Film Studies at Howard University, Washington);
  • Katsuyuki Hidaka Consuming the Past: Japanese Media at the beginning of the Twenty-First Century (Lecturer in Media Studies at Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto); and
  • Ozlem Guclu Silent Female Characters in the New Cinema of Turkey: Gender, Nation and the Past (Research Associate at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Istanbul).


My writing centres on the history of Japanese and Korean Cinema. My first book, Myth and Masculinity in the Japanese Cinema: Towards a Political Reading of the Tragic Hero (Routledge/Curzon 2000), explored the ‘homosocial’ codes underpinning Japanese films from the war-retro and yakuza genres as a site of audience male pleasure. My second book, A New History of Japanese Cinema: a Century of Narrative Film (Continuum 2005) took, as its starting point, the view that the auteur theory was inadequate to explain how Japanese cinema functioned within cultural life. My third book, Politics, Porn and Protest: Japanese Avant-Garde Cinema in the 1960s and 1970s (Continuum 2011) locates the Japanese avant-garde film movement as a dissentient intellectual group of filmmakers. My fourth book is Myth and Masculinity in the Japanese Cinema (Routledge 2015).


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Available for
Regional Expertise
  • East Asia
Country Expertise


Authored Books

Standish, Isolde (2011) Politics, Porn and Protest: Japanese Avant-Garde Cinema in the 1960s and 1970s. New York: Continuum International Publishing Group.

Standish, Isolde (2005) A New History of Japanese Cinema: A Century of Narrative Film. New York: Continuum.

Standish, Isolde (2000) Myth and Masculinity in the Japanese Cinema: Towards a Political Reading of the Tragic Hero. London: Curzon.


Standish, Isolde (2015) 'The Revolutionary Triptych'. Kiju Yoshida: Love and Anarchism, pp 29-43.

Standish, Isolde (2012) 'The Ephemeral as Transcultural Aesthetic: a Contextualization of the Early Films of Ozu Yasujiro'. Journal of Japanese and Korean Cinema, (4) 1, pp 3-14.

Standish, Isolde (2011) 'The jidaigeki television series: myth, iteration and the domestication of the samurai hero'. Japan Forum, (23) 3, pp 431-440.

Standish, Isolde (2010) 'Night and Fog in Japan: Fifty Years On'. Journal of Japanese and Korean Cinema, (1) 2, pp 143-155.

Standish, Isolde (2006) 'Film and Narrative in the Yakuza Genre'. Cinemaya, (1) 2, pp 20-23.

Standish, Isolde (2005) 'Chushingura and the Japanese Studio System'. Japan Forum, (17) 1, pp 69-86.

Standish, Isolde (2005) 'Mediators of Modernity: 'Photo-Interpreters' in Japanese Silent Cinema'. Oral Tradition, (20) 1, pp 93-110.

Standish, Isolde (1993) 'Korean Cinema and the New Realism: Text and Context'. East-West Film Journal, (7) 2, pp 54-80.

Edited Books or Journals

Standish, Isolde, (ed.), (2014) Journal of Japanese and Korean Cinema Volume 6 Number 1 May 2014. Oxford: Routledge.

Book Chapters

Standish, Isolde (2007) 'Transgression and the Politics of Porn. Oshima Nagisa's In the Realm of the Senses (1976)'. In: Phillips, A. and Stringer, J., (eds.), Japanese Cinema: Texts and Contexts. Abingdon: Routledge, pp 217-228.

Standish, Isolde (1998) 'Akira: Postmodernism and Resistance'. In: Martinez, D.P., (ed.), The Worlds of Japanese Popular Culture: Gender Shifting Boundaries and Global Culture. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp 56-74.


This list was last generated on Monday, 18th October 2021, 02:21 Europe/London.